Updated: May 25
Where to start and when to seek help!
I am going to say something here about diagnosing problems in your ministry that would make many of us in ministry immediately close this blog. Why would most of us have that reaction? Because what I am about to say is so simple, it will easily come off as trite. And without this prequel, most ministers will read what I am about to say, think that "this blog is of ZERO help", and then close out this blog to find "real help".
And yet, in my 30 years of working with pastors, I have repeatedly found that what I am about to say is often the foundation, or even the full agitator, of the many ministry problems that the pastor in front of me is experiencing. Ready for it?
If you are having unresolved problems in ministry, first check your prayer life, your Bible time, and your unforgiveness/bitterness.
(And keep in mind that unforgiveness/bitterness does NOT have to be ministry related.)
Stay with me on this truth... keep reading just a bit more!
Do you have a daily prayer life/time AND Bible time?
More pastors than one might think will answer "no" to that question. If your answer was "no", I recommend changing that immediately! This is an answer of simply "doing" in most cases. Just be faithful to doing it each and everyday and watch what Lord changes in and through you! He promises us to be faithful in this.
However, if your answer was "yes", keep reading.
When was the last time that your prayer life and Bible time truly grew? Do you punch a clock during your prayer time or Bible time? Is your prayer life and Bible time rich and full, or does it look more like a valley of dry bones?
The answer here is usually not one of "doing"... yet many pastors respond to questions like this by doubling down on their "doing". That is not to say that the best resolve for you isn't simply more time with the Father... but in many cases, spending more time coming to the father isn't the answer.
Shocked by that?
I would encourage you to look at the status of your heart. Often times in cases like this, there is either open disobedience in your life and/or unforgiveness/bitterness. (Unforgiveness and bitterness are two sides of the same coin and are a form of open disobedience).
"Unforgiveness and bitterness? That is your big diagnosis? And more time with God won't help that? Are you serious?"
Yes, very serious! And here is why: outside of the moment of salvation, you don't get very far with God when you aren't first forgiven of your sins.
Are you thinking, "What? I am forgiven! Jesus paid the price for my sins and I have accepted his atonement!"?
The problem is that 2 different times in the book of Matthew (Matthew 18:21-35 and Matthew 6:14-15), Jesus tells us that those who don't forgive are not forgiven. And you will have a very hard time honestly interpreting both of those passages as only being applicable for the unsaved.
So, if the above passages do in fact apply to all Christians, and if you have ANY unforgiveness or bitterness in your heart towards ANYONE/ANYTHING, then your ability to draw close to the Lord is greatly hindered at best, and is currently cut off at worst. Spending more time coming before God won't help that... because there is a wall between the two of you.
You aren't making it to Him... you are just spending all your time sitting outside the wall that you have erected between the two of you. I truly beg you not to stay here!
If this is your case, you may need a good Christian Counselor. I talk more about that here in this training.
Are still reading this and can truly say before the Lord that you have worked through everything above? Are you clear in your spirit of the above things? And yet, do you still have problems in ministry that have been ongoing for longer than 3 months?
If the answer is "yes" to all 3 of those last questions, then I recommend finding a good ministry coach. Chat with other ministers that you know about who they recommend or you can click the contact button above to contact Grats Ministry Coaching.